Texas Baptists respond to crisis in Philippines

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As the Philippines continues to deal with the impact of a deadly typhoon that killed more than 5,200, injured 23,000 and left 3 million people homeless, Texas Baptists are responding in multiple ways.

Texas Baptist Men is shipping 10,000 water filters to the southern Philippines, working with Remote Island Ministries, a program of Victory Missionary Baptist Church in Sherwood, Ark. The ministry focuses primarily on the southernmost area of the island of Mindinao, in the Gulf of Davao region.

Bob Young from The Heights Baptist Church in Richardson and Russell philippines young400Bob Young, a Texas Baptist Men volunteer from The Heights Baptist Church in Richardson, packs water filters to carry on a plane to the Philippines. Young and another TBM volunteer, Russell Schieck, will deliver 290 water purification filters to the typhoon-ravaged country. (PHOTO/Courtesy of Stephanie Midkiff/Texas Baptist Men)Schieck from First Baptist Church in Ralls will deliver 290 water purification units to the Philippines.

Young and Schieck—whose Dec. 3-16 trip to the Philippines was planned before the typhoon hit—will distribute the water filters, train pastors and community leaders how to use them, and assess needs.

Working with Pastor Derick Jacinto from International Baptist Church in Manila, they will travel to Bicol region, at the southern tip of Luzon Island, and to an area in the Eastern Visayas region that still lacks electricity and where communication with pastors has been difficult.

The ceramic filters they will use to purify water not only protect against bacteria, but also against viruses, according to a Food & Drug Administration-registered laboratory. Each filter can serve a family of six to eight people for a year, helping prevent the spread of typhoid and cholera, as well as other water-borne diseases.

An assessment team representing TBM and Texas Baptists’ Disaster Recovery ministry will travel to the province of Iloilo, where early reports indicated the typhoon destroyed about 95 percent of the homes in the coastal towns of Estancia, Carles and Concepcion.

The team—which includes Ernest Dagohoy, executive pastor of First Philippine Baptist Church in Missouri City and vice chair of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board—will determine where to concentrate efforts and work together with the Convention of the Philippine Baptist Churches to formulate a response plan.

Tyler church responds

An East Texas Baptist church also responded to needs in the Philippines after the typhoon. Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler has a longstanding partnership with Word of Hope Church in Manila and its Hope Leadership Institute.

After the storm hit, Word of Hope Church launched Operation Hope to provide food, medical supplies and temporary shelter to some of the areas most affected by the typhoon, setting an initial goal of raising $100,000 for the effort. Pastor David Dykes challenged Green Acres Baptist to raise $10,000.

“On the first Sunday, our people gave $48,000. They have continued to give, and currently the total given through Green Acres is $116,000 for the relief effort,” said Dale Pond, minister of missions.

In addition to providing immediate relief, Operation Hope also plans to help rebuild many of the church facilities destroyed by the typhoon.

Green Acres Baptist gave $116,000 before launching its annual offering for worldwide missions, which supports international, North American and Texas missions causes, as well as 15 strategic missions partnerships. Pond predicted the congregation will surpass its $600,000 goal for the missions offering.

How to help

To donate to TBM disaster relief efforts, click here.

To donate to BGCT disaster recovery, click here.

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